I would have to say that Perth must rank no. 1 as ‘the most fines issued per capita’ in the world. With a population of 1.8 million, I would say that at least 80% of every person with a driver’s licence would have received a fine whether it is for driving or parking. Undoubtedly, the police in this area are extremely cunning when it comes to ticketing and one can not help but feel like a chicken in a fox pen.
So, I put together a list of road rules that you should KNOW but clearly not all of us do.
- Speed Limit. When it comes to speed, police are vigilant. Police will hide in the most unlikely of spots with either a radar gun or camera waiting to catch the next fly in their web. Fines for speeding vary, however lately I received a $200.00 fine because the road changed from 100 km to 70 km without notification. I had to pay the fine because it is a driver’s responsibility to know all the speed limits in all areas at all times of driving. So here is a list of speed limits that are set for most areas, with even these changing midway. For more information about speed limits, you can visit the government website.
a. Freeway – most main freeways are set at 100 km per hour. However the freeway south of Mandurah to Busselton is 110 km, with frequent changes to 80 km in populated areas. The freeway from Perth CBD to Canning Higway is set at 80 km. Police are known to stand just 5 km inside of the 100 km limit sign and catch those wanting to accelerate too early.
b. Suburbs – most suburbs are set at 50 km. Some may be 60, but unless you see the sign it is best to keep to 50 km.
c. Rural areas – Rural areas are generally 70 km. Once again, keep to the lowest speed limit unless you see a sign.
d. Schools – The limit is set at 40 km for roads near schools. Police are mostly in this area and it is an area I prefer to see them in as young lives are at stake..
- Demerit Points. For most fines you will receive demerit points. When you reach 12 demerit points, your licence will be suspended. Most speeding fines start at 2 demerit points and can double over public holidays.
- U-Turn at Traffic Lights – This is a big NO NO! Anyone who is caught making a U-Turn at a traffic light will receive a minimum of $100.00 with 3 demerit points. If you need to make a U-Turn you will need to find a side road that will allow you to turn or take a specially marked U-Turn point. If you can’t find one, you have to – unfortunately – keep driving until you find one.
- Clearway – Clearways are found mostly in areas which need flow through traffic during morning and ‘home’ time. Generally, a clearway has allocated times which need to be clear of traffic. Cars can park outside of these hours, however if your car is found parked during clearway times you will occur a fine AND you car will be towed. Traffic marshals are vigilant, and there is no grace time for being late. One minute over the time limit will result in a fine, and a few minutes later you car will be towed. From personal experience I was able to get to my car on the number, however the marshal was waiting to take action. Had I been 1 minute late – a fine would have been issued. The thing that annoyed me about this experience was that he looked at his watch as I opened the door – just to make sure.
- Parking – If you see a sign that say 1P or 2P it means you have a maximum of 1 or 2 hours of parking. If it says ticket underneath it, then you will need to purchase a ticket. However, beware, some areas don’t have ticket underneath, so it is best to look for ticketing stations along the side of the roads (both sides). If it is free parking, traffic marshals will mark the tire of your car and return 1 or 2 hours later to see if the mark is still there. If it is, you will receive anything from a $60.00 fine.
- Parking – Some parking lots are marked for certain types of cars. One of these is by the Hillary harbor. While signs are placed at the entrance to the car and high on the right of the parking lot, many motorist forget to look. Parking is for trailer and car in the yellow bay. NO cars are allowed to park there before midday. Of course, being New Years day, we joined 100’s of other cars and received a $65.00 fine as a Happy New Year’s gift.
- Licence – Car Licences need to be paid online. You can pay for a minimum of 3 months which is about $230.00. You have a 2 week grace to renew your licence from the day it expires. Outside of this time, you will receive a fine. The cops will also remove your plates deeming it unfit to drive. You will need to pay for a tow truck to drive it to a department of transport station who would need to inspect it and then give you a new plate number. Or you can purchase a 1 day pass to drive it there yourself. Total cost for the amazing experience will be about $800.00 which includes cab back home, pass to drive to station, inspection, new plates and registration.
After buying quite a bit of Perth, I still believe that the cops have only one task – make as much money from drivers as possible. Needless to say, if you keep to the limit, regardless if you have a person driving on your bumper (more about Perth drivers in another article), you know the rules of the road and read the signs ~ chances are you will not receive a fine. Good Luck!
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